Uttar Pradesh minister resigns after Lokayukta’s rap

August 17th, 2011 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 17 (IANS) Virtually driven against the wall following indictment over graft by Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta Justice N.K. Mehrotra, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Awadhpal Singh Yadav Wednesday put in his papers, an official spokesman said.

The Lokayukta (ombudsman) found the minister guilty of corruption and blatant misuse of authority.

Yadav’s resignation came after Chief Minister Mayawati told him to step down in the wake of the Lokayukta’s report sent to her Tuesday.

“Once the Lokayuktya had explicitly recommended the minister’s removal from the cabinet on grave charges of corruption, sure enough there was no question of anybody defending him even for a minute; so he had to go,” remarked a Mayawati aide, who preferred not to be named.

On being contacted, the minister told IANS: “I decided to resign because the Lokayukta has raised certain doubts and levelled certain serious allegations against me; I am clearly of the view that until I am exonerated of those charges, I should not remain a part of the council of ministers.”

The minister was held guilty of grabbing government land through fraudulent interpolations in the land records, misusing authority and giving undue financial favours to his close relatives.

The Lokayukta had also gathered documentary evidence to prove that a bulk of the contracts for construction of veterinary hospitals were awarded only to companies run by the minister’s own family members, who carried out an utterly sub-standard job.

The Lokayukta also did not rule out the minister’s involvement in large scale production of illicit liquor in Etah district.

He urged the state government to form a special task force with a specific agenda to look into the whole affair. The illicit liquor operation in Etah was understood to be causing an annual loss of Rs.200 crore to the state excise department.

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